Royal Horticultural Society

Royal Horticultural Society

The RHS thought there was no room to house the Lindley Library in their existing building and it would have to be moved out of London to the RHS gardens at Wisley in Surrey. The new masterplan demonstrated that by excavating the basement to a useable depth, extending out into the front area, re-planning and some rebuilding it was possible to house the Library and other pressing needs in their existing headquarters.

Client

Royal Horticultural Society

Location

Westminster, London, UK

Size

4,250m²

Value

£7m

Dates

1997–2001

This extensive redevelopment of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) headquarters building in Vincent Square provides a new home for the Lindley Library, offices and an entirely remodelled conference hall facility. Listed and dating back to the 1900s, the existing building has been extended into hitherto unexploited basement areas and comprehensively refurbished to house the society’s growth over the next 25 years.

The Lindley Library is one of the most important botanical reference libraries in the world and consists of over 50,000 volumes covering a wide range of subjects, including garden history, botany, flower arrangement, and botanical art. It is used by scholars from all over the world. It is also much used as a resource by the RHS’s own garden writers, authors and members of the general public to whom it is open free.

The RHS thought that there was not room to house the Lindley Library in their existing building and it would have to be moved out of London to the RHS gardens at Wisley in Surrey. The new masterplan demonstrated that by excavating the basement to a useable depth, extending out into the front area, re-planning and some rebuilding it was possible to house the Library and other pressing needs in their existing headquarters.

Gavin Miller Project Architect for Rick Mather Architects

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